Consisting of 250 acres of repurposed land and structures, Ariel Foundation Park, 10 Pittsburgh Ave., Mount Vernon, is a center of attractions for many event planners, cyclists, anglers, bird-watchers, photographers and nature lovers in Knox County. “It’s a passer’s park; there’s no play equipment out there,” David Carpenter, Superintendent of the Knox County Parks District, said. “It’s a place for people to go to walk or just enjoy quiet time.” The grounds, much of which were formerly occupied by the Pittsburgh Plate Glass factory, consist of flourishing woodlands, meadows, bike trails, walking paths, terraces, three lakes created from old gravel quarries, and several buildings created from recycled PPG remains, known as The Ruins. Also created from utilized PPG remnants are the Rastin Observation Tower (which overlooks the entire park) the Community Foundation Pavilion, the Urton Clock House and the Schnormeier Event Center. According to Carrie Haver, executive director of the Foundation Park Conservancy, Ariel-Foundation Park has “five rentable venues for class reunions, family picnics, wedding receptions” and other occasions. The Schnormeier Event Center, the biggest rentable building, is an open structure that hosts many large events, such as weddings, parties, reunions and concerts throughout the year. Popular events on the schedule for 2018, Haver said are:

  • July 4th fireworks and the Chicao cover-band, Beginnings, among other activities
  • A McGuffy Lane concert, tentatively scheduled for July 20. The 2017 concert attracted a crowd of 3,000 people
  • Cumberland Run concert on Aug. 4
  • Gospel Day
  • Children's Concert with the Knox County Symphony
  • Rastin Challenge August 2018

For more information about Ariel-Foundation Park, scheduled events, park features or to rent a building for an event, log on to